Money can buy you happiness – especially if you are paid by the hour
Researchers found that being paid by the hour had a greater impact on your wellbeing than getting a salary as you feel a greater connection between effort and reward.
They believe the more direct relationship between time and money focuses your mind on your pay which if reasonably high makes you happier.
However the equivalent total paid as a salary, seems to have little or no effect on your happiness levels.
The researchers at University of Toronto and Stanford University analysed long term population studies in various countries including Britain.
As well as various lifestyle questions, the studies asked the volunteers about their general feelings of happiness and whether they were paid a salary or by the hour.
They discovered a direct correlation between happiness and hourly pay but not with salaried.
“Income was uncorrelated with happiness for salaried employees, whereas it was significantly associated with happiness for people paid by the hour,” the research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin concluded.
The researchers believe that hourly wage-earners focus more attention on their pay than those who earn a salary.
That concrete, consistent focus on the worth of the employee’s time in each paycheck influences the level of happiness the employee feels.
“Hourly payment doesn’t make you happier per se,” said Sanford DeVoe, co-author of the paper.
“Hourly payment makes you happier if you earn a lot of money per hour, but it makes you less happy if you very little per hour.
“The key thing is that it makes how much you earn a bigger aspect of how you define your happiness.”